HRA is continuing to work directly with Government agencies and working groups in coordinating an equine industry response to the recent outbreaks of Japanese Encephalitis. The Commonwealth government is currently working with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) to obtain an emergency use permit for an inactivated JE vaccine for use in animals as part of the disease response.
HRA needs to establish what our industry’s requirements would be in the event that a vaccine rollout is made available from the Government. In order to do this your input is required in the submission form below. Your responses will assist HRA to coordinate an informed rollout of vaccine in the harness racing industry. Click here to download the fact sheet on JEV.
What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Japanese encephalitis is a viral zoonotic disease that is spread by infected mosquitoes to people, horses, pigs, birds and other animals. People and horses are considered ‘dead end’ hosts - once infected, they do not play a role in transmitting the virus.
Waterbirds are the main natural reservoirs of JE virus. Transmission is maintained in mosquito - water bird, or mosquito – waterbird - pig cycles.
JE vaccines have been routinely used in Asia to vaccinate thousands of horses for over 30 years. JE virus is established in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore and vaccination has been extremely effective in reducing the incidence of clinical disease in these countries. Apart from an occasional brief local reaction at the site of injection, no side effects have been reported.
There is no JE vaccination currently approved for use in the general horse population in Australia however the Commonwealth government is working closely with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) to obtain an emergency use permit for an inactivated JE vaccine for use, if required, as part of the disease response.